How useful are sources D and E in helping you to understand why the Ripper was able to avoid capture

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Jack the Ripper is an alias given to an unidentified serial killer active in the largely impoverished Whitechapel area and adjacent districts of London, England in the latter half of 1888. The real name of this murderer was never found out because the killer managed to avoid capture or identification. Source D is ‘the evidence of Elizabeth Long at the inquest into the death of Annie Chapman; she was describing the man seen talking to Annie before she was killed.

In this source Elizabeth is very vague and unsure of the person she was describing, I know this because she said things like “As far as I could tell”, and this does not give a good indication to that she didn’t exactly remember the appearance of the man she was identifying but is trying to help nevertheless. She also states that she ‘thinks’ the man was a foreigner, this implies that Elizabeth was a racist or that she just wanted to get back at someone for an unknown reason.

Also, the source suggests that Elizabeth was a prostitute from the fact she was hanging around on the streets with Annie Chapman, who also was suspected to be a prostitute. This suggestion makes me think that because she was a suggested prostitute it is unlikely to want to aid the police as she is involved in illegal activities herself and would not want to get herself in trouble.

This source is slightly unreliable as it does not state how many hours after speaking with this man Annie was killed, which isn’t particularly helpful because Annie could have been murdered a few minutes later in which fact it was more likely to be this man in comparison to if she was murdered about 4 hours later. Jack the Ripper was able to avoid capture because there were witnesses but the police did little to find them, possibly because the witnesses would have been prostitutes and the police might not have wanted to speak to these sorts of people in fear of they might mislead them.

If this was the case it was a very unwise decision as Annie was a prostitute and her fellow prostitutes would have wanted to help the police, not mislead them so the killer would be caught and the streets would be safer for them. Also the police should have caught Jack because they had a somewhat vague description of a suspect and should have followed this information up to the full of their ability to either find the killer or eliminate the innocent.

This source is useful in helping me understand why the ripper was able to avoid capture. Source E is ‘Part of an article published in a local newspaper after the murders of Polly Nichols and Annie Tabram’. This article states there were not enough police, this shows that despite their hardest attempt at catching the Ripper there simply was not enough police to investigate and stop this fiend.

The general public at this time obviously knew this and contacted the police to inform them of this problem, but the source says that the police ‘were ignorant, to calls to strengthen the police force’. This shows a lack of dedication to the case, and this may have enabled the Ripper to escape. Also it says that ‘The streets of Whitechapel were rife with violence and murder’ This suggests that the police thought little of another murder and didn’t take appropriate actions until it started to get more serious, then it was too late as the Ripper has already vanished.

It seems to me the Ripper kept escaping capture after murder because the source tells me that ‘The main thoroughfares of Whitechapel are connected by a network of narrow, dark, crooked lanes. ‘ Which suggests to me that after the murder he could sneak down these small back streets and not get noticed, and if the body was discovered the streets were so crooked that from the place of the body Jack would not be seen escaping down the street. In Whitechapel many of these small lanes contained ‘Some headquarters of infamy.

The sights and sounds are an apocalypse of evil’ This quote from the article suggests to me that when the Ripper did murder a victim the sound of this act would not be much from the normal behavior in Whitechapel. With so many evil deeds occurring in Whitechapel, and the shameful and criminal conduct the residents demonstrate in this area, may have helped Jack the Ripper escape by making him not look as out of place or attract much attention from other notorious acts happening around him.

Source E is not as helpful as source D; this is because source E is not entirely reliable as it is from a newspaper. Newspapers are infamous for their sensationalized and exaggerated reports, as they usually blemish the facts because there main purpose is to entertain the reader of the newspapers and to sell more copies than the rival newspapers by having the more entertaining stories.

The police should have caught Jack the Ripper because the reporter of this article states that the police had been informed and blames them that Jack the ripper was not captured. Source D is only slightly more helpful and reliable than source E because it is an eye witness report to the police by a citizen who clearly intends this information to aid in the capture of this murderer. Therefore I find, although vague, this source is evidently written to inform rather than entertain, like source E.

Other reasons Jack the Ripper avoided capture was that there already was plenty of criminal activity going on in Whitechapel, like prostitution, that criminal looking characters were probably a common appearance in this area and that they didn’t attract the attention witch would have been attracted if Jack the Ripper was to walk and murder in an area of higher class. Another reason Jack the Ripper was able to avoid capture was that he was obviously clever with his killing for the time.

He did this by trying to minimize the chances of a witness to the crime by performing the murder in a deserted area, and trying to avoid the victim screaming or making to much noise. In conclusion I did not personally find these two sources useful sources in helping me understand why Jack the Ripper was able to avoid capture for the fact that there were many other reasons Jack the Ripper evaded capture. Also it would be difficult for forensic scientists to figure out the identity of Jack the Ripper because technology was still remedial compared to the technology used today.

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